Food Security, Agriculture and Natural Resource-based Rural Livelihoods Specialist (International Position),

  Afghanaid
  Afghanistan Unspecified 313
Date Posted:May 2, 2010
Reference:VA-2010-042
Closing Date:May 14, 2010
Work Type:Unspecified
Number of Vacancies:1
Gender:Male
Functional Area:General
Nationality:International
Salary Range:Salary is negotiable
Years of Experience:5 Years
Contract Duration:Not specified
Extension Possibility:No
Contract Type:Short Term
Probation Period:1 month
Required Languages:

About Afghanaid:

 

Job Summary:

Under the overall steer of the Managing Director and the direct management of the Deputy Managing Director (Programme Operations), this position will be responsible for leading Afghanaid’s Food Security, Agriculture and Natural Resource-based Rural Livelihoods work, including ensuring that Afghanaid maintains a strategic niche in the country in this sector through demonstrative evidence of impact of reducing poverty, vulnerability and suffering by application of best practices steering it’s a) grassroots programme, and b) national level policy advocacy and influencing initiatives undertaken in partnership with civil society coalitions and networks. The incumbent will lead programme design and operational management, national level advocacy, and will provide advisory and technical support to direct and functional reports as well as to the partners from civil society and government line departments. The incumbent will provide necessary management, advisory, technical and programmatic support to direct and functional reports as well as to the relevant professional and para-professional staff working in the field, of Afghanaid and its partners, from civil society and government departments particularly MAIL and DAIL. The post holder will also lead organisational representation at national and sub-national level with relevant stakeholders to build network and alliances to bring in best practices from others and to influence policy and practice of the government.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Specific Responsibilities and Duties

Sector Strategy
1. Provide strategic and technical leadership to review sector strategy; and building on successes and learning from the current strategy, develop the new strategy, as part of the Afghanaid overall country strategy development process. The focus of the strategy will continue to be on ensuring food security and poverty reduction in rural communities
2. Design the process and methodology for review and development of the strategy, including ensuring ownership and input of the key stakeholders (internal and external) in the strategy review and development process and its outcome
3. Lead power and stakeholder analysis to identify key and influencing actors engaged in livelihoods sector in the country; including their strategies, policies, plans, resources, and geographical focus
4. Develop and pilot programme approaches and models promoting rural poor women in economic leadership role
5. Review strengths and gaps of the current programme implementation and operational strategies with a view to pilot partnerships with Afghan civil society, particularly with national NGOs
6. Support the DMD (Programme Operations) in review, and in change management, where appropriate, of the existing programme delivery structure regarding your sectoral interventions to ensure it is aligned with the vision and aspirations of the sector strategy
7. Ensure an exit strategy is built in the implementation of the sector programme, including use of programme approaches and partnerships guaranteeing sustainability of the impact achieved.

Programme Design and Development
1. In line with the agreed sector strategy, and building on lessons and best practices and successes of Afghanaid and others’ work, steer and facilitate the process of programme design and development. This may include leading assessments and consultations with relevant stakeholders to develop need based, technically feasible, economically viable and environmentally sound multi-year generic programme proposal/s, LFA and budgets to raise funds
2. Identify proactively new opportunities for growth of your sector programme and use them in creative manner to optimally benefit Afghanaid, including development of specific proposals and/or concept notes and budgets against call for proposal/expression of interests announced by different institutional donors
3. Lead innovation in the sector through piloting new approaches and ideas.

Programme Implementation
1. Lead design and delivery of project mobilisation workshops ideally within the first week after signing of a new project contract, in the district or province, including all relevant staff, with specific outcomes including but not limiting to: work plan of the project linked with budget break down per activity; agreement on operational strategies for gender quality, disaster risk reduction, sustainability, working relationship with the DAIL/MAIL, etc; role and responsibility of different teams in the delivery and support of the project; monitoring, mid term review and end of the project evaluation plans; etc
2. Working closely with the Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management team at the Head Office, lead the design or arrange/engage external resource persons to design and deliver baseline starting within second week of a new project’s start up date; ensure quality baseline reports, their link with the monitoring indicators, and if needed development of poverty profiling of the project area based on the outcomes/data from the baselines
3. Promote application of participatory methodologies and approaches, including PRA and other similar methods, in the project delivery
4. Oversee effective implementation of all stages of Project Cycle Management (PCM), put in place a system to track progress against approved / agreed activities and outcomes, including spend rate progress
5. Ensure that annual and quarterly work plans of the sectoral teams and projects are developed jointly and effectively implemented; work plan will cover different donor funded projects
6. Facilitate relevant teams, including other stakeholders such as donors, local partners, community groups, and government where feasible, joint review and planning, on quarterly basis, focusing on the results and outcomes from quarterly work plans and budgets; and assist in course correction, adjustment/amendment of the sector work plan and budget as required for the following quarter
7. Provide technical guidance and backstopping to sector teams on promotion of women and poor friendly technical solutions that are low cost, sustainable and based on indigenous knowledge and wisdom to overcome food insecurity and poverty
8. Spend minimum one week per province to visit and support sector specific programme interventions at operational/project level and one week a month in Kabul for other strategic engagement, report writing, programme development initiatives
9. Ensure TORs of your regular visits are agreed with the provincial managers in advance and a field report detailing key findings, recommendations for specific actions, etc is produced within a week after the visit
10. Ensure effective cross-departmental and cross-sectoral teams relationship and integration of different organisational priorities in your sectoral work

Capacity Development
1. Design, and oversee development of appropriate capacity development strategy and plan for all staff working under your sector, ensure it is resourced / budgeted and lead its effective implementation
2. Ensure design of materials including training manuals for field staff and lead farmers; to cover areas including but not limited to demonstration methods, farmers field school, rural institutional capacity building e.g. of farmers/producers associations and cooperatives, agricultural and animal health best practices - to be produced in local and lay language
3. Develop a strategy to transfer skills and knowledge to the national counterpart / senior programme manager at head office and to the relevant provincial senior staff through variety of ways including coaching, formal training, mentoring, demonstration through leading different processes, etc.
4. Liaise closely with programme quality specialists (e.g. gender equality and social development, governance and community development, market access and enterprise development, monitoring and evaluation, etc.) at head office and provincial offices level to arrange capacity development, provision of check lists, guidance, accompaniment to improve quality aspects of project delivery to achieve higher impact

Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management
1. Ensure an effective monitoring and evaluation system is in place to track and measure outcomes and impact of sectoral work. This will be an integral part of the overall programme monitoring and evaluation strategy and system to ensure coherence and joined up approach at implementation and impact level between your sector specific interventions and other sectoral work of Afghanaid
2. Support programme and project teams in developing their understanding, capacities and skills in effective use of monitoring and evaluation system; for this liaise closely with Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management team at head office and provincial offices to give feedback on areas requiring capacity enhancement, follow up, accompaniment, etc.
3. Facilitate your sector teams to build in the work plans and budgets monitoring and evaluation specific activities and cost
4. Lead production of TORs for mid term review and end of the project evaluations, identify potential resource persons to carry out these reviews and evaluations, and act as commissioning manager if required
5. Guide sector team in identifying through regular monitoring and removing constraints blocking smooth implementation and achieving planned results and outcomes
6. Design donor specific monitoring sheet to gather project data on regular basis, which will in turn assist Afghanaid in maintaining an updated database of all field activities at district, provincial and head office level and will assist in donor reporting and production of internal reports and publications
7. Undertake regular field visits to assess programme impact and provide feedback in relation to achievements, shortcomings, and recommendations for improvement to your sector teams, provincial managers, DMD (Programme Operations), Programme Quality team and to the Managing Director
8. Ensure knowledge management including research, documentation and sharing of best practices and lesson learned from models and approaches applied in Afghanaid programme areas: a) to inform future organizational programme strategies and direction; b) to influence external sector-specific stakeholders policies, strategies and priorities in Afghanistan (including donors, public authorities, civil society); c) to contribute in building evidence based knowledge of sector; and d) for replication and scaling up the programme of Afghanaid

Reporting and Documentation
1. Prepare narrative and financial quarterly and annual reports as per Afghanaid’s internal systems’ and different donors’ requirements, meeting agreed minimum quality standards, for all projects covered under your remit of responsibilities
2. Prepare periodic ‘write ups’ on success stories/best practices at field level

Resource Management
1. Accountable for overall resource management of your sector specific programme – people, financial/budget, donor contracts, and other assets; ensure effective risk mitigation and management system is in place, understood and used by your team to minimise risks associated with misuse of programme resources
2. Responsible for recruitment, performance management, mentoring and support of staff directly reporting to the post and provide active support and if required lead recruitment and performance management of functional lines
3. Support human resources department in identification of relevant staff programmatic and technical capacity building needs (immediate and long term); assist HR in development of livelihoods staff learning and development strategy and plan (and resource it); and contribute in implementation of the plan
4. Provide mentoring support to the direct reports, and where required other staff
5. Put in place an on-the-job mentoring and coaching system for learning enhancement of the provincial and district level staff particularly Provincial Agriculturists, Foresters, NRM staff and DVMs and undertake routine stock take of progress
6. Responsible for preparing annual and sub-annual budgets for your sector specific programme interventions, financial management of budget including financial reporting on regular basis as required by the management and donor contracts
7. Support Advocacy and Partnership Development Department in managing livelihoods programme related donor contracts and ensuring complete compliance with the donor requirements
8. Manage transparently all other programme resources (e.g. materials, programme assets, etc.) and be accountable for them

External Representation and Networking
1. Develop and maintain organisational relationships with strategic stakeholders engaged in your sector in the country and the region of south Asia
2. Represent Afghanaid in relevant technical/professional forums/meetings and facilitate greater effectiveness of ongoing agriculture/rural sector programmes at national and sub-national level
3. Build professional networks and alliances with relevant stakeholders including government and research institutions and civil society organisations
4. Ensure value of these networks in terms of best practices of other organisations, resources available with other organisations, etc benefits Afghanaid’s work
5. Support DMD (Programme) in developing and maintaining relationships with strategic stakeholders engaged in livelihoods sector in the country

Advocacy and Influencing
1. Working closely with Advocacy and Partnerships Development Department, lead all advocacy and influencing and lobbying work of the organisation in your sector, at national and sub national level and where required outside the country
2. Lead research and studies or act as commissioning manager for studies to document evidence from Afghanaid’s own and others work to develop organisational position on key relevant issues e.g. subsidies on inputs for farmers, role of women in agricultural production and marketing, etc. to influence government and leading donors policies and strategies in your sector

Other
1. Participate in and contribute to Afghanaid’s strategic and programmatic issues through the Senior Staff and Strategic Planning and Programme Operations Review Team (SPLAT) meetings
2. Participate in the recruitment and technical appraisal of all relevant staff and advise the DMD (Programme Operations) on staff capacity enhancements
3. Perform any other tasks as required.

Job Requirement:

You will have a research-based Post Graduation or Master degree in relevant discipline (Agriculture or Natural Resource Management) from an internationally reputable academic institution while further qualification (Diploma, Certificates) in relevant fields (community forestry management, watershed management, livestock management, market oriented NRM) and experience of field based research will be equally essential. You will bring 3-5 years of international work experience at senior level with credible development INGOs, from Afghanistan or similar countries. You will have excellent knowledge and proven track record in design and implementation of food security, agriculture and NRM sector grassroots programmes with participatory methodologies, in staff and farmers capacity development, in engaging women farmers in both household food security and markets driven initiatives, and in initiating and achieving results from advocacy and influencing work at national level. You will have extensive experience of M and E systems and procedures, strategic planning and knowledge of quality control and data analysis. You will have demonstrated credible evidence of being a results-driven professional.

The post requires ability to deal with challenging work situations and willingness to travel, live and work in isolated and remote areas. You must have highly developed skills in mentoring, coaching, and facilitating learning and development of national staff; communications in English and preferably in Dari; computer literacy in word processing and excel; strategy development; programme design and proposal writing including budgeting; project cycle management including baselines; analytical report writing; and advocacy and influencing. You will require established track record of competency to work with significant level of autonomy, take initiative, be able to meet tight deadlines and produce results. You must have respect for local culture and religion, self motivation and knowledge of personal strengths and weaknesses.

Job Location:

Afghanistan
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